The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Barmy Boris and the Boy-Scouts

Posted by rantingkraut on November 6, 2008

Boris Johnson reportedly demanded “compulsory attendance at structured youth organisations to build “self-respect and character”” for young offenders and troubled teenagers.

Let’s not ponder whether a lack of self esteem is really the issue with young offenders. Whatever their self esteem, it is far from clear why structured youth organisations should be punished by having offenders of any age unleashed on them. It is less obvious still why troubled teenagers who are not offenders should be compelled to attend anything other than school. Merely being troubled in some way is not a crime. Non-offenders have not violated others’ rights so the state should have no right to punish them.

Luckily the boy scouts –one of the organisations targeted by Boris’ cunning plan—have told him where to go: “… the policy, launched yesterday, hit a stumbling block when both the Scouts and Girl Guides said that, as voluntary organisations, they would not work with young people who were forced to join.” (source)

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